The National Agricultural Statistical Service of USDA has reported national cattle numbers as of January 1, 2017. Total cattle, at 93.6 million head, were up 2% from one year ago. There were 40.6 million cows and heifers that have calved, up 3%. There were 6.4 million beef replacement females, up 1%. (Replacements were 16% of calved cows and heifers, about the long-term replacement rate in beef herds.) Milk cows were at 9.4 million, up slightly. Calves below 500 lb were up 2%. These increases in calves and number of females that will produce calves projects to a larger beef supply over the next few years. As experts currently predict, this larger beef supply will probably place pressure on calf prices.
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